Songwriter in Home Studio

Are Songwriting Principles Genre-Specific?

In songwriting, a principle is a statement that attempts to explain why some aspect or element of music works the way it does. Principles are not rules, because a rule implies that it must (or at least should) be done a certain way in order for the music to be successful. But a principle makes […]

Songwriter - lyricist

The Conversational Nature of Good Song Lyrics

I’m really pleased to notice (or at least I think I notice) that the quality of lyrics has been becoming an important sought-after aspect of good mainstream songwriting. It seems only a few years back that everyone was talking about chord progressions. The term “killer chord progression” was one I’d hear in many musical conversations. Trying […]

Happy New Year - 2019

What Do You Write Next?

The best songs pull you in by making you wonder what’s going to happen. You hear a nice crescendo in the instrumentation… where’s it leading? You hear a captivating twist in the chord progression… Why? Where’s it going? The lyric describes a circumstance or situation… what’s going to happen next? Good music keeps us riveted […]

Songwriter with guitar and paper

Writing a Good Song Melody: It’s Not a Random Process

There’s so much about songwriting that seems random. You could choose practically any chord progression, any melodic shape, any hook, any combination of words for the lyric. So when you look at it that way, it seems that randomness is a key feature of songs. The success of a pop song often comes down to […]

Pensive songwriter

What Are You Doing to Improve?

What are you doing to improve as a songwriter? You’d probably answer that question by saying, “Well, I’m trying to write more“, or “I’m trying to become more consistent…” That’s one way of saying that you don’t really have a plan. No one improves without change. You want to get better at baseball? You change the […]

Songwriter

Don’t Give Up So Easily

Once you’ve written a song, you like to think of it as your baby, something that had a gestation period, and now — here it is! Except… you’re not very happy with it. The song’s done, but it just sounds lame to you. The first step in dealing with a song that doesn’t work very […]